Obamacare’s enrollment campaign gets an infusion of celebrity help, but is ‘Funny or Die‘ the right messenger?
By David Martosko In Washington Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 23 July 2013
Among them is ‘Funny or Die’ website co-founder Mike Farah, and that’s no joke. He attended a meeting of the president’s Entertainment Advisory Council in the White House on Monday. The Obama administration is leveraging that group’s star power to persuade uninsured Americans to sign up when Obamacare’s health care exchanges go live in October.
A White House official said Monday afternoon that the Funny Or Die website is working on ‘several web videos featuring well-known comedic celebrities and actors.’
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The official added that the Roosevelt Room meeting included a large group of actors, singers, producers, writers and executives who have ‘expressed a personal interest in educating young people about the Affordable Care Act.’
And Obama – ‘the man himself,’ as singer-songwriter Jason Derulo put it in an Instagram status update – dropped in for awhile.
‘The president stopped by the meeting to engage artists who expressed an interest in helping to educate the public about the benefits of the health law,’ an official explained. ‘The reach of these national stars spreads beyond the Beltway to fans of their television shows, movies and music – and the power of these artists to speak through social media is especially critical.’
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Valerie Jarrett, a longtime senior Obama adviser, hosted the meeting along with White House communications deputy David Simas.
As the Obama administration prepares for the October 1 launch date of the health care exchanges’ open-enrollment period, the West Wing – the building, not the old TV show – is reportedly in full-court-press mode.
The White House has already enlisted the help of Spanish-language television networks including Univision and Telemundo in order to appeal to young Hispanics in California, Texas and Florida.
A recent attempt to involve the National Football League in Obamacare advocacy met with disaster, however, as the league backed away following Republicans’ loud warnings not to politicize the professional gridiron.
The administration aims to enroll 2.7 million healthy Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 in the exchanges by the end of 2014. That would theoretically put enough cash in the system to subsidize more expensive enrollees in older demographic groups.
The Congressional Budget Office‘s estimates about the financial impact of Obamacare on the federal budget depend on the administration signing up at least 7 million Americans overall by the beginning of 2015.
Amy Poehler and Billy Eichner (L) represented ‘Funny or Die’ in the Roosevelt Room, while Republicans are already joking that the White House’s health care plan is ‘Livin’ on a Prayer,’ courtesy of Jon Bon Jovi (R)
Big names in attendance included Farah, Derulo, Saturday Night Live alumna Amy Poehler, comedian and Friends alumna Aisha Tyler, singers Jennifer Hudson and Bruce Roberts, Arrested Development co-star Michael Cera and ‘House’ actor Kal Penn – yes, he played a doctor on TV.
The Hollywood Repporter noted that Derulo ‘fractured a vertebra in his neck while doing acrobatics during rehearsals for his 2011 world tour.’ He told the meeting that his health insurance saved his life.
ABC senior producer Eric Ortner helped organize the meeting, which may indicate that the White House will leverage Good Morning America in coming months.
Representatives for singer Alicia Keys, rocker Jon Bon Jovi and TV talk legend Oprah Winfrey also showed up, along with emissaries from the Grammys and the Latin Grammys.
YouTube Comedy producer Daniel Kellison, Royal Pains creator Andrew Lenchewski, William Morris Endeavor partner Charles King and and Red Light Management COO Bruce Eskowitz rounded out the group.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2375214/Obamacares-enrollment-campaign-gets-infusion-celebrity-help-Funny-Die-right-messenger.html#ixzz2ZwsEyU3J
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